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The Watertown American Little League will kick off its sandlot-style season at 6 p.m. Monday at Rand Field off of West Main Street.

The non-traditional format is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that canceled standard regular seasons across the country, and the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

This year’s format allowed for teams to still play baseball. Players will be divided into three groups with Group A (returning 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds), Group B (10 and new 11-year-olds) and Group C (ages 7-9). Group C will start play with the 6 p.m. Monday game, while Group B and Group A will play Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Weekday games will be at 6 p.m. while weekend games are at 9 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Several special rules with be enacted for play this year. Innings will last three runs, three outs or the entire lineup bats. Pitchers can toss a maximum of two innings and there will be no dropped third strike.

All players must play at least one inning in the infield in the 10-12 division, and there will be no stealing and players must play two innings in the field in the 7-9 division.

Games on the weekend will hold to a one-hour, 50-minute time limit to allow for proper sanitizing. All families must stay together and kids cannot wander the field. Parents and players should come only to their assigned games. Spectators will be required to wear masks if they cannot social distance.

The concession stand will be open, but the fryer will not be used. Refreshments such as hot dogs, drinks, snacks, ice cream and other items will be available.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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